I was looking forward to finally seeing my first Puffin but evidently they have literally “flown the coop” with nesting season being over and have traveled north into Canada and Alaska for the remainder of this year.
Here are two photos I found online:
(Photo credit: hbw.com)
(Photo credit: Greg Homel abcbirds.org)
And here is a Puffin statue at one of the beaches I went to Sunday, constructed entirely of litter found on the beach (sad but creative)!
Those photos are all of “Tufted Puffins,” one of the two varieties sometimes seen in the Pacific Northwest. The other is a “Horned Puffin”:
(Photo credit: E. J. Peiker)
In the northeast US (Maine in particular, and also in eastern Canada) “Atlantic Puffins” are the variety most commonly seen. A fourth variety, the – are you ready for this – “Rhinoceros Auklet” is generally found outside the United States. Over 60% of the world’s Puffins live in or near Iceland.
Young Puffins are called chicks or pufflings.
A group of Puffins can be called any number of things: An improbability, a parliament, burrow, raft, gathering, loomery, puffinry or, (I love this one) circus!